Proud to Be: A Native American Ad That Wasn’t Aired During the 2014 Super Bowl

Submitted by Elaine Magliaro, Weekend Contributor

Here is one ad that never aired during this year’s Super Bowl:

The Proud to Be video was made by Change the Mascot, a national campaign that was launched by the Oneida Nation. The video was released by the National Congress of American Indians a couple of days before this year’s Super Bowl. Change the Mascot’s aim is to end the use of the term “redskins” as the mascot for Washington, D. C.’s NFL team. The campaign “calls upon the NFL and Commissioner Roger Goodell to do the right thing and bring an end the use of the racial epithet.”

Not being a wealthy organization, the National Congress of American Indians couldn’t afford to “buy a television slot during the Super Bowl to run its ad.”

Writing for ThinkProgress on January 31, 2014, Alyssa Rosenberg said the following:

It’s a gorgeous ad, and it’s a strikingly effective illustration of why the word “Redskin” is so troublesome. It’s not just that the term has evolved from its origins as a basic explanation of physical difference, to a slur that was used to reduce Native Americans to the value of their skins, for which literal bounties were offered. In a less violent but no less significant sense, “Redskin” collapses the remarkable particularity of Native American experiences into a single identity and set of attributes.

The NCAI ad is a forceful and often beautiful reminder that Native Americans aren’t a monolithic community. That’s a term that subsumes hundreds of specific identities, a huge range of cultural and artistic practices–and yes, as the ad doesn’t neglect to leave out–specific sets of social and political issues.

“Native American” may be a blanket identity category, but it’s one that invites curiosity, asking hearers to consider what came before the political and territorial consolidation of the United States, and the fact that American identity is rich and multifaceted, rather than a single way of being. “Redskins” is both a slur, and a term that invites the listener to skip over the work of thinking about what it means. “Redskin” reduces Native Americans to simply the color of their skin, and to the attributes we associate with football (a practice that’s also a product of a very specific marketing history, as my colleague Travis Waldron reported in his epic look at the fight against the Washington football team’s name): physical strength, maybe speed, and not much else. Not only is that kind of thinking profoundly lazy and racially reductive, it’s a tragedy both for the people who are subjected to it, and the people who deny themselves the experience of more of the world by practicing it.

The NCAI ad is a reminder of precisely what they’re missing out on, making all of these points without having to spell them out the way I do here. That’s great advertising, in service of a critically important message.

Last May, Daniel Snyder, owner of Washington, D. C.’s NFL team was quoted as saying, “We will never change the name of the team.” He then repeated himself when a reporter followed-up on his comment, “We’ll never change the name. It’s that simple. NEVER — you can use caps.”

Then last June, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said that the Washington Redskins‘ nickname was a “unifying force that stands for strength, courage, pride and respect.”

Clem Ironwing (Sioux) doesn’t think the word “redskin” is a term of respect. In 1996, he spoke at a public hearing in Wichita, Kansas, on the subject of Wichita North High School’s sports mascot. He talked to those present at the hearing about having been removed from his family by the government when he was a young child and forced to live in a Catholic boarding school. Matthew Richter posted the comments that Ironwing made at the hearing. Here is an excerpt of what Clem Ironwing said:

“When my hair was cut short by the priests, I was called a “redskin” and a savage. When I spoke my native tongue, I was beaten and called “redskin”. When I tried to follow the spiritual path of my people, I was again beaten and called a “redskin”. I was told by them to turn my back on the ways of my people, or I would forever be nothing but a dirty “redskin”.

           “The only way “redskin” was ever used towards my people and myself was in a derogatory manner. It was never, ever, used in a show of respect or kindness. It was only used to let you know that you were dirty and no good, and to this day still is.

Is it time to change the mascot? What do you think?

Submitted by Elaine Magliaro

The views expressed in this posting are the author’s alone and not those of the blog, the host, or other weekend bloggers.  As an open forum, weekend bloggers post independently without pre-approval or review. Content and any displays or art are solely their decision and responsibility.


Change the Mascot Website

Wichita North Redskins “Remarks by Clem Ironwing, Sioux, during a public Mascot/Identity Committee hearing.” (The People’s Path)

House Dem: ‘Redskins’ as offensive to Indians as ‘N’ word is to blacks (The Hill)

An open letter to Dan Snyder (Grantland)

The Harmful Psychological Effects of the Washington Football Mascot (Change the Mascot)

American Indian Boarding Schools Haunt Many (NPR)

Why ‘NEVER’ Abandoning ‘Redskins’ As His Team’s Name Might Soon Cost Dan Snyder A Lot Of Money (ThinkProgress)

Redskins, NFL Take Heat From Congress Over Team Name (Only a Game)

Members of Congress urge Redskins to change name (Big Story)

Read Roger Goodell’s Letter To Congress Defending The Redskins Name (DeadSpin)

NFL is ‘listening’ to those who oppose Redskins’ name, Roger Goodell says (Washington Post)

A slur or term of ‘honor’? Controversy heightens about Washington Redskins (CNN)

Native Americans Tackle Redskins at Press Conference: On the heels of an NFL conference, the Oneida Indian Nation confronts the organization for its use of what the deem a racial slur as a mascot (Time)

Bob Lutz: North High, it’s time to change the nickname (The Wichita Eagle)

The Other Redskins (Capital News Service)

Hundreds rally in Minn. against Redskins’ name (Yahoo/AP)

The Super Bowl Ad You Never Saw (Huffington Post)

ICTMN Exclusive: NCAI Releases R-word Video Ahead of Super Bowl (Indian Country Today Media Network)

Monk, Green: Mull name change (ESPN)


National Congress Of American Indians Releases Anti-Redskins Ad (Deadspin)

Here’s an ad about R–skins that its makers don’t have the money to show during Sunday’s Superbowl (Daily Kos)

The Best Ad You’ll See This Super Bowl Weekend (ThinkProgress)

The Epic Battle To Save The Most Offensive Team Name In Professional Sports (ThinkProgress)

Roger Goodell defends Washington Redskins’ nickname (NFL)

248 thoughts on “Proud to Be: A Native American Ad That Wasn’t Aired During the 2014 Super Bowl

  1. I saw that just before the Super Bowl. It wasn’t surprising that something of value wasn’t aired during SB commercials, since football is not a values game but a big money game. NFL (non-profit status?!) for years was willing to harm its players by hiding concussion data and ignoring medical proof about the potential long term damage of concussions. If they can ignore that human tragedy, these white NFL executives can comfortably ignore a racist team name for years to come..

  2. Great Article Elaine!

    I think that there are a few college teams with degrading Native American names (or use a certain Native American tribe’s name and or culture in a degrading manner)?

    Using this term is similar as using the ‘N’ word for African-Americans.

    Could you imagine a team such as the Newark ‘Ns’? Or how about the California ‘Crackers’? Or the Houston ‘Hs’?

  3. 60% of high school history teachers never took a college level history course. That in part explains why this issue is seen by the majority as trivial. There were at least three migrations of people thousands of years apart that became Native Americans. Yet, our government considers them all the same. We can not un do the past, but we can stop perpetuating the past. Remember the truth, not the white wash.

  4. This story is made all the more toxic by the millions in explicit and implicit government subsidies to the Washington NFL team and the NFL. e.g, 2012, Virginia gave a $4million subsidy for a training facility. When you have a significant government investment, the name of the team ceases being a private matter between the owner, the team and the fans.

  5. “Is it time to change the mascot? What do you think?”

    Change the name, the mascot will follow. Honor the treaties and we will not have this:



    SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — One of the country’s poorest Native American tribes wants to buy a historically significant piece of land where 300 of their ancestors were killed, but tribal leaders say the nearly $4 million price tag for a property appraised at less than $7,000 is just too much.

    James Czywczynski is trying to sell a 40-acre fraction of the Wounded Knee National Historic Landmark on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation to the Oglala Sioux Tribe. The land sits adjacent to a gravesite where about 150 of the 300 Lakota men, women and children killed by the 7th Cavalry in 1890 are buried.

  7. The majority of American Indians don’t care about this mascot controversy. We’ve gone over this previously. When the majority say they want mascots names changed, I will be a supporter. Not until then.

  8. Redskins refers to the use of tribal warrior use of a red war paint. The uneducated progressive left has been irrational on this issue. Most Native Americans are not offended by the name. The most outraged? Young white emotionally charged youth with poor to no education on the history of the origin.

    They see the name Redskin and out of blind ignorance, automatically assume it is racial.

    We are continually seeing the rewriting of history by stupid people.

  9. During the entire history of America until the turn of the Twentieth century, Indigenous Americans were hunted, killed, and forcibly removed from their lands by European settlers.[13] This includes the paying of bounties beginning in the colonial period with, for example, a proclamation against the Penobscot Indians in 1755 issued by King George II of Great Britain, known commonly as the Phips Proclamation.[14][15] The proclamation orders, “His Majesty’s subjects to Embrace all opportunities of pursuing, captivating, killing and Destroying all and every of the aforesaid Indians.” The colonial government paid 50 pounds for scalps of males over 12 years, 25 pounds for scalps of women over 12, and 20 pounds for scalps of boys and girls under 12. Twenty-five British pounds sterling in 1755, worth around $9,000 today —a small fortune in those days when an English teacher earned 60 pounds a year.[14] Since the proclamation itself does not use the word, citing it as the origin of “redskin” as another word for scalp has also been called “revisionist history”.[16] However, an historical association between the use of “redskin” and the paying of bounties can be made. In 1863, a Winona, MN newspaper, the Daily Republican, printed among other announcements: “The state reward for dead Indians has been increased to $200 for every red-skin sent to Purgatory. This sum is more than the dead bodies of all the Indians east of the Red River are worth.” [17]

    A linguistic analysis of 42 books published between 1875 and 1930 shows that negative contexts in the use of redskin were significantly more frequent than positive usage.[9] The use of the word Indian in a similarly selected set of books was more balanced though negative contexts were still more frequent than positive contexts.[9] The term was in common use in movies during the most popular period for Hollywood westerns (approximately 1920-1970), with “redskins” usually being used to refer to Native Americans as primitive and warlike.[18] As with any term perceived to be discriminatory, different individuals may hold differing opinions of the term’s appropriateness.[19]

  10. It seems to me that the term is another meant to dehumanize those that we war with. Terms like gook, jap and kraut, make them a lot easier to kill.

  11. “Most Native Americans are not offended by the name.”

    Really? The word “most” implies more than 50%. Have you conducted a poll? How about actually asking a few. How about asking Meteor Blades, one of the senior editors at Daily Kos what he thinks. Never mind, you won’t have to ask. Here is his opinion at the link, along with comments from a number of Native Americans.

  12. I wonder if anyone noticed the visual slight-of-hand at the end of that video. Since the Washington NFL team has copyrights on both the team name and the logo, they got around that by a simple photo of a helmet. As someone said a long time ago, a picture is worth a thousand words. There was no way the NFL or the team could legitimately issue a take-down complaint to YouTube.

  13. So what if Indians call themselves everything under the sun but redskins? They have that right, the same as the Redskins have a right, too. Nothing but a variation on censorship. While they are at it, why don’t they try to get blacks to quit calling whites, whitey, or Mexicans calling whites, gringos? I’m so sick of this wants-it-both-ways PC and attack on free speech, not to mention always being blamed for something my ancestors had done, never mind that all had lived in foreign lands during the 1800s.

  14. I think the best way to change the name of the football team would be to convince the fans to demand the the name be made something else. Having the gov’t do it is not going to work based upon first amendment protections. Once the team owners decide it is a liability based upon their projected revenue decline then the change will happen rather quickly.

  15. Samantha, You have me confused. What does ” I’m so sick of this wants-it-both-ways PC and attack on free speech, not to mention always being blamed for something my ancestors had done, never mind that all had lived in foreign lands during the 1800s” mean?

    Video: ‘If the Indian Mascot Could Speak,’ a Poem by Preston Wells

  16. Sorry for the confusion. After re-reading my comment, I’m confused, too. Goes to show that you should not try to write a comment while at the same time watching the Olympics.

  17. Pat,

    Here is an excerpt from one of my favorite poems by Sherman Alexie–“Powwow at the End of the World”:

    The Powwow at the End of the World

    I am told by many of you that I must forgive and so I shall
    after an Indian woman puts her shoulder to the Grand Coulee Dam
    and topples it. I am told by many of you that I must forgive
    and so I shall after the floodwaters burst each successive dam
    downriver from the Grand Coulee. I am told by many of you
    that I must forgive and so I shall after the floodwaters find
    their way to the mouth of the Columbia River as it enters the Pacific
    and causes all of it to rise. I am told by many of you that I must forgive
    and so I shall after the first drop of floodwater is swallowed by that salmon
    waiting in the Pacific. I am told by many of you that I must forgive and so I shall
    after that salmon swims upstream, through the mouth of the Columbia
    and then past the flooded cities, broken dams and abandoned reactors
    of Hanford. I am told by many of you that I must forgive and so I shall
    after that salmon swims through the mouth of the Spokane River
    as it meets the Columbia, then upstream, until it arrives
    in the shallows of a secret bay on the reservation where I wait alone…

    You can read the rest of the poem at the following link:

  18. Well said, Felix and Samantha. By the way, I was born here as were my parents, grandparents and great great grandparents. I sort of think that makes me a ‘Native American’.

  19. I am a member of the Puyallup Tribe of Indans and have always found the name of the Washington pro football offensive. There is also a song that the fans sing that has extraordinarily offensive lyrics. They use symbols that are sacred to American Indians during the games. I think if you offend even one person, you should stop the offensive action. I can tell you from personal experience that I have been called the r-word on a variety of occasions; and, it was never used as a word to honor or respect me.

  20. Chuck, Check the polling of Indians on mascots. The Daily Kos is a liberal rag. We had this dance previously. It’s PC horseshit and rank and file Indians see it as just that. I related previously how an Indians activist spoke to my college class in 1999 and admitted it’s just the hierarchy that are adamant about this. Oh..and white guilt liberals.

  21. Samantha, you had me scratching my head (LOL). Glad you were too.

    Elaine, thanks for the poem I can understand why it is one of your favorites.

    Kraaken, our family can trace our genealogy in this country back to the 1600s. While that may make native because we were born here it certainly does NOT make us “Native Americans.” As Bonnie notes she is from the Puyallup Tribe. Just because we are too self involved to take the time to learn the different tribe’s, nations actually, names, customs and beliefs does not give us the right to deem them with our pithy and dehumanizing terms such as ‘redskins.’

  22. The only poll of Native Americans regarding whether the name of the NFL team from Washington, D. C., was offensive to them that I’m aware of was conducted in 2004. Fewer than 800 self-identified Indians or Native Americans were polled…and that was a decade ago.

  23. “I Know a Lot More About Being White Than You Know About Being Indian.”
    Bill Moyers
    Posted: 04/10/2013

    Writer Sherman Alexie, who was born on a Native American reservation, talks with me about feeling “lost and insignificant inside the larger culture,” and how his culture’s “lack of power” is very apparent in stereotypical sports mascots, like that of the Cleveland Indians.

    “At least half the country thinks the mascot issue is insignificant. But I think it’s indicative of the ways in which Indians have no cultural power. We’re still placed in the past. So we’re either in the past or we’re only viewed through casinos,” he says.

    Native American Stereotyping in Literature
    Contributed to CBC Diversity by Joseph Bruchac
    (Note: Joseph Bruchac is part Abenaki. He is a well-known Native American children’s and adult author.)

    No group in American culture has been more stereotyped than Native Americans. While other ethnic stereotypes now meet with disapproval, harmful images of native people are still accepted or defended within majority culture, even when Native Americans complain. There are images and characters in books and other media, expressions in current usage, the naming of places and sports teams, and negative expectations about the behavior of Native Americans. It is so pervasive that non-natives often don’t realize they’re saying or doing things hurtful to Native Americans. (And when it is pointed out, the response is often disbelief or denial.)

  25. The polling done is mostly 10 years old or older. It was clear back then Indians[they prefer that to PC Native American] had more common sense that elitists, both Indian and white. I’ve been to my share of reservations. They have MUCH bigger problems than this contrived controversy. If you’re concerned, go to a “res” and help these great people learn how to read, write. Help them w/ healthcare and substance abuse. This hand wringing over names is a slap in the face to these people. I have NEVER met a more spiritual, honest, nice group of people. Not too many res in the Boston area.

  26. My husband and my oldest niece’s husband are part American Indian (Penobscot). I’ve met and dined with both Joseph Bruchac and his son James–at different times. They are Native American storytellers and authors who live in upstate New York. I arranged for James to do school visitations in the district where I taught. I had Joe come to speak to the students in my children’s literature course at Boston University. Joe told me either American Indian or Native American was an appropriate way to refer to indigenous peoples. He told me he didn’t prefer one over the other.

  27. I guess Nick, Felix, Kraaken, and Samantha owes Bonnie an apology?

    If they don’t , then I will do it for them:


    I do apology that our ignorant country still does not respect Native Americans enough to remove racial images, and then, try to justify their use by utilizing a few ‘uncle toms’ to speak for all Native Americans, stating: ‘Master’s statue, mascot, name, and/or songs ain’t that bad. We are not offended but proud to be promoted and saluted.’

    (we still treat women as 2nd class citizens in regards to wages, promotional and job opportunities, politics, and as an authority on subjects: there was a female law professor at Washington University. She was amazed that a few ‘white male’ students didn’t believe that she was qualified for her job as a law professor, even though she used to be a judge. However, they (same students) felt that former one-time, US Senator of Missouri Jim Talent was deserving of an $96k salary as an adjunct law professor).

  28. Nick and Elaine, just curious because I missed the discussion on this before, what poling are you talking about. On another topic here someone quoted polling from Sports Illustrated.

  29. I’ve had more than my fair share of being offended by Indians when racist tribal police, for example, handed out free passes to trespassing Indians while at the same time confiscating my rock-climbing gear. Or when I’m ripped off for tribal hiking fees that cost two and three times what it costs to hike in Yosemite, Arches, or the Grand Canyon (otherwise free to Indians). Or cited for tribal speeding while Indians were passing — me! In fact, I’ve had more luck with corrupt federales in Mexico, getting out of a la mordida, than I’ve ever had with racist police on tribal lands. But none of that means that I avoid or have not read “War Dances” or “Love Snares” or “The Shawl” or “Breaking and Entering” and other fine, Native American literature. Next time you are offended, don’t feel alone! It happens to each of us, probably karma collecting on a debt.

  30. Daily Kos is not a “liberal rag.” Oriented progressive yes. That is totally irrelevant to the fact that Meteor Blades expressed his outrage, speaking as both a professional journalist and Native American. Would you say that to his face? If you would say it, why don’t you do so?

    If so, you know it is easy to register on DKos. Native American Netroots is a recurring blog. Register over there and express your opinion. I can hardly wait to see how that might turn out.

    As for locating Meteor Blades, he is easy to find. He writes at least one front page diary a day.

  31. Pat,

    A 2004 National Annenberg Election Survey question on whether the name of the Washington Redskins is offensive to Native Americans is in the news amid renewed national debate over whether the pro football team should change its name. In a letter to fans published in the Washington Post on Wednesday, Oct. 9, team owner Daniel Snyder cited the survey as key evidence in support of the name. “The highly respected Annenberg Public Policy Center polled nearly 1,000 self-identified Native Americans from across the continental U.S. and found that 90% of Native Americans did not find the team name ‘Washington Redskins’ to be ‘offensive,’ ” Snyder wrote.

    In the 2004 survey, the question was asked of 768 self-identified Indians or Native Americans. Nine percent said they found the name offensive. The poll included data from Oct. 7, 2003 through Sept. 20, 2004.

  32. As I said several times, it is elitist Indians and whites on this PC campaign. This argument is repetitive. You want to change the names, God bless you. It’s misguided and condescending when Indians have so many other REAL problems. But, knock yourself out, Chuck. And yes, I would day that to Meteor Blades face. And, being Indian, there’s a much higher chance for a philosophical and respectful response than from the riff raff commenting on Kos.

  33. Pat, The 2002 SI poll was about mascots in general. They had a better break down, differentiating between Indians on and off the res. But, the poll was overwhelming in Indians not finding mascots offensive. Elitists just like to have causes, it’s how they keep up their condescension skills.

  34. Activists, political, Indians. Those are the elitists of which I speak. Know any Indians, Elaine?? I know many. I have them to my house for dinner. Ever been to a res? I’ve been to @ least 20, probably more.

  35. Samantha states: ‘perhaps it’s karma collecting on a debt’

    Really? Are you serious? Could you be any more apologetic?Wow…SMH….

  36. From that group of “elitist” American Indians known as the National Congress of American Indians:


    Excerpt from the Executive Summary:
    “Indian” sports brands used by professional teams were born in an era when racism and bigotry were accepted by the dominant culture. These brands which have grown to become multi-million dollar franchises were established at a time when the practice of using racial epithets and slurs as marketing slogans were a common practice among white owners seeking to capitalize on cultural superiority and racial tensions.

    Over the last fifty years a ground swell of support has mounted to bring an end to the era of racist and harmful “Indian” mascots in sports and popular culture. Today, that support is stronger than ever. Rooted in the civil rights movement, the quest for racial equality among American Indian and Alaska Native people began well before the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) established a campaign in 1968 to bring an end to negative and harmful stereotypes in the media and popular culture. While these advances have been positive, equality still remains elusive in everyday life for Native peoples.

  37. Whiteskins would be fine w/ me. I have no problem w/ the Fighting Irish. I’m half Irish. How ’bout you raff, you got a problem w/ the Fighting Irish??

  38. Wow! American Indians who are activists for a cause they believe in or who are political are “elitists.” Damn it! They should know their place in society and just keep quiet. Paraphrasing Sam Levenson: When we want American Indians’ opinion on something–we’ll give it to them.

  39. Elaine,
    This is a fellow who had a lot of influence on my thinking. Rolling Thunder. He wasn’t just a man, he was a force of nature. Of course, there are some who might call him an “elitist.” Once maybe, but not twice. He passed away in 1997 at the age of 81. He didn’t think much of the Washington team name either.

  40. Lawmakers Press N.F.L. on Name Change for Washington Redskins

    WASHINGTON — Two members of Congress plan to send a strongly worded letter to the commissioner of the National Football League on Monday urging him to support changing the name of the Washington Redskins because it offends Native Americans and others, with one lawmaker saying she might reconsider the league’s tax-exempt status if it does not comply.

    Senator Maria Cantwell, Democrat of Washington State and chairwoman of the Indian Affairs Committee, said in an interview on Sunday that lawmakers would “definitely” examine the N.F.L.’s tax-exempt status and other ways to pressure the league.

    “You’re getting a tax break for educational purposes, but you’re still embracing a name that people see as a slur and encouraging it,” Ms. Cantwell said.

    In a copy of the letter released on Sunday, Ms. Cantwell and Representative Tom Cole, Republican of Oklahoma and a member of the Native American Caucus, chided the N.F.L. commissioner, Roger Goodell, for his recent remark that the name of the team, based near Washington, D.C., “honored” Native Americans.

    “The N.F.L. can no longer ignore this and perpetuate the use of this name as anything but what it is: a racial slur,” they said.

  41. Elaine and Nick, thanks for the polling information. However, in a 10 year period of time perception and opinions on issues can dramatically change. Look at the polling for marijuana legalization over the last ten years,

  42. Elaine & Pat,
    The Internet has become a force that did not even exist in its present form until about ten or twelve years ago. The rise of the internet has been a powerful influence on information and sharing of opinions and ideas. Few native reservations had widespread internet connections until recently. The ability of geographically dispersed people to talk among themselves about the things that affect them is something new, that did not exist when those polls were taken.

  43. The fact that the activist group NAACP doesn’t speak for all or even most “colored people” is pretty basic knowledge. They’re elitists w/ many agendas, the wants of needs of regular folks being down on the list. The Italian Anti-Defamation League is a joke and speaks for only elitist Italians. The list goes on, but that will do for this argument since I don’t know if this will get posted.

  44. Charlton,

    Yes! Times change…and people change. Some would prefer that people who were once silent remain silent. Why should they speak out now? Why should they express their opinions in the media? Why should they organize a campaign against an NFL team? How elitist of them!

  45. Pat contributed:
    “Senator Maria Cantwell, Democrat of Washington State and chairwoman of the Indian Affairs Committee, said in an interview on Sunday that lawmakers would “definitely” examine the N.F.L.’s tax-exempt status and other ways to pressure the league.”
    While I agree that it is something congress can debate I take strong exception to a senator threatening an entity with tax consequences if they don’t do what politicians in Congress want. That is a flagrant violation of the First Amendment rights of the NFL. Tow the line, or we will investigate you and put you out of business. And given the recent news of acusations of the IRS unfairly targeting certain non-profits or political groups this statement by Senator Cantwell gives some credence to the position tax and regulator investigations are used as tools of politicians for political purposes.

    I agree the NFL’s structure as a tax exempt entity is questionable, but threatening them if they don’t change a teams name with tax consequences is not a practice of a government I would like to see.

  46. RWL, if your only view is through the lens of racism, of course you only saw a singular pronoun when in fact I had used a plural one, making it pretty obvious to most, certainly not you, that I meant no one person of any race is exempt from karma. Get rid of that bigoted lens, so we can see you for the bright person you really are, not one who is compensating for emotional challenge!

  47. Native American Group: Fight Against ‘Redskins’ About More Than Just The Name
    OCTOBER 11, 2013

    One of the main criticisms of the opposition to the name of Washington’s professional football team, at least one propagated by name defenders like ESPN’s Rick Reilly, is that the efforts to change the name are driven largely by white apologists who aren’t in touch with the Native American community. That isn’t and hasn’t been true, but as controversy over the name has escalated to new heights this year and as the media has taken a new interest in amplifying complaints against the name, Native American groups are renewing their fight and shaping the argument in new ways.

  48. Samantha,

    You still don’t get it.


    Don’t worry! I apologizied for Samanta. When she becomes more mature and/or more understanding of our history toward Native Americans and Europe & America’s history of our treatment toward women, she will be standing outside of Mr. Snyder’s door, holding signs and boycotting. She will probably be chanting: “We shall overcome.” And regurgitating MLK’s ‘I Have A Dream’ Speech, as well.

  49. There is no doubt that the r-word is extremely offensive to those of indigenous heritage, probably a vast majority of the traditionalists — those who actually know, believe in, carry on, and attempt to preserve traditional ways. Even if the general aversion to the word is a new thing, which it isn’t, why should it matter. Why wouldn’t people go out of their way to avoid giving offense over such a trivial — as judged by their own arguments — matter?

    Because privileged white people ain’t about to give up any of their privileges — why, that would be persecution.

    Wasichus, everyone of them.

    [BTW, Professor, “Wasichu” describes a state of mind, not a race or ethnicity.]

  50. This is personal on several levels, which is one reason the racist BS spouted in the thread above sandpapers me more than usual. My wife’s uncle Bud fought with Ira Hayes on the bloody sands of Iwo Jima. Bud was hit in the leg by two rounds from a Nambu machine gun, and passed out from loss of blood on the beach, but not before they got the machine gun nest that wounded him and killed several of his buddies. When he regained consciousness, he was on a litter on the deck of a ship just off the beach. From his stretcher, he saw Ira Hayes, along with four fellow Marines and a Navy corpsman, raise that flag on Mt. Suribachi.

    So yes, that logo and team name is offensive as hell to me, and as far as I know, I don’t have a drop of Indian blood. One does not have to be a member of an ethnic group to find cloddish racist behavior racist. What is bullshit is to accuse those who call racism for what it is in all its ugliness, “Elitism.”

  51. nick spinelli
    As I said several times, it is elitist Indians and whites on this PC campaign. This argument is repetitive.

    actually, i believe that means your argument is repetitive

    i say we change the name to the real power in washington


    boy, that rolls off the tongue like a wad of snot. just think of the ideas for a new team logo. a big stack of benjamins. uncle sam bent over. (oops, can’t do that, it would look too much like the old patriots logo).

  52. Washington team meets ‘Change the mascot’ protest in Denver
    By Mark Maske
    October 27, 2013

    Tessa McLean, another organizer from the Ojibwe Nation in Canada, said that she and many of the protesters were subject to verbal abuse by fans.

    “A lot of the passers-by supportive of the Washington team name were swearing and cussing and booing at us,” she said. “We heard, ‘Get over it. Go home. We’re honoring you.’ When you hear that it feels hurtful, right where your heart is.

    “If they wanted to honor us they could honor our treaties, they could honor the earth, they could honor our people. But not with mascots.”

  53. From The Onion:

    Report: Redskins’ Name Only Offensive If You Think About What It Means,33449/

    WASHINGTON—A new study published Monday by the University of New Mexico confirmed that the name of the Washington Redskins is only offensive if you take any amount of time whatsoever to think about its actual meaning. “When you hear or say ‘Redskins’ in the abstract, it’s completely harmless, but we’ve discovered that if you briefly pause to remember it’s a racial slur for an indigenous group wiped out by genocide over the course of a few centuries, then, yeah, it’s awful,” said lead researcher Lawrence Wagner, adding that only if you allow the NFL franchise’s name to register in your mind does it evoke the thought of human beings devastated by the forced removal from tribal lands, intentional exposure to smallpox, and countless massacres. “It has the potential to come across as a degrading relic of an ethnocentric mentality responsible for the destruction of an entire people and their culture, but that’s only if you take a couple seconds to recognize it as something beyond a string of letters.” Wagner recommended that the NFL franchise should change their name to something more appropriate and historically accurate, such as the Washington Racist F*cks.

  54. Bruce,

    No one is censoring comments. If certain vulgar words, however, are used in a comment, it will not be posted. Sometimes, comments are swallowed up by the spam filter. It’s happened to me many times. WordPress can be quite temperamental that way.

  55. After several attempts to post a comment with editing each time, it seems it is OK to question Redskins in football, but not SEALS use of Geronimo in the killing of bin Laden the “terrorist” (with obvious implications that are more repugnant than the use in sports. But the comment (so far) in its entirety has been refused as a posting.

  56. Elaine: No vulgar words were used whatsoever. References to historic treaty and treatment is made, and a reference to football being a brutal sport is also inferred. I have reviewed my original statement and there is nothing there that is anything but a somewhat satirical use of ‘cowboys and indian childhood’ reference used as a cynical slant against American consciousness.


  57. There is a very extensive review on-line about the use of the term
    (here: As with the very use of the word “Indian” itself, it is base upon misunderstanding,and misnomers by the earliest European who first witnessed ochre used by Indigenous people they encountered. One can argue as to how this became Hollywood’s terrorist branding, but it certainly was used in sports to indicate courage and voracity not negativity.

  58. or perhaps it was the critical historic review in brief?
    “While it may well be a great opportunity to raise current communication and consciousness about the ongoing plight of Native abuses at the hands of historic invasion, exploit, persecution, colonization and stealthy theft by the US Government interests (as well as breached treaty agreements, reneging on peace agreements, land thefts as acquisitions, forced marches and recent high level government extortion and corruption, it certainly doesn’t raise to the level of disrespect! In some cases, it seems just a great chance to be heard (in a history entrenched in being suppressed)”

  59. “Redskins”: A Native’s Guide To Debating An Inglorious Word
    Gyasi Ross

    Note: GYASI ROSS is a member of the Blackfeet Indian Nation and also comes from the Suquamish Nation. Both are his homelands. He continues to live on the lovely Suquamish Reservation.

    The anti-Redskins movement is driven by a small percentage of Native people. As a result of the “very serious other concerns” enumerated above, most Native people simply don’t really have the bandwidth to push the anti-Redskins agenda, even if they wanted to. A lot of us simply cannot afford to have this in our lists of things to do today. Thus, the topic has been championed by a very small group of Natives who do not have to worry about the lower tiers in Maslow’s hierarchy. Many of us, even those who agree with that stance, are simply too busy keeping the lights on to worry too much about mascots. Anecdotally, there is plenty of support for other Native mascots. Indeed, if a person were to take a poll of reservation/Indian schools, that person would find that a whole bunch the school mascots were Indian in nature: Browning Indians, Haskell Indians, Flandreau Indians, Plenty Coups Warriors, the Hoonah Braves, etc. No such poll exists, of course, but the continued existence of tribal schools with “Indian”-themed mascots is instructive. The point: Most Native people have no inherent problem with Indian mascots; what matters is the presentation of that mascot and name. The presentation of the name “Redskins” is problematic for many Native Americans because it identifies Natives in a way that the vast majority of Natives simply don’t identity ourselves.

    Every other ethnic group gets the opportunity to self-identify in the way they choose. Native people do not.

    The NFL and fans of the NFL treat Native people qualitatively differently from how they treat members of any other ethnic group. Whether or not the term “Redskin” is inherently racist is the wrong question. The more appropriate question is, “Would it be acceptable to name a professional sports team according to the color of someone else’s skin?” Would it ever be cool to have a sports team called the Washington Blackskins? It seems appropriate; D.C. is Chocolate City. But, um, hell no. San Francisco Yellowskins? Naw, cousin. Won’t work.

    None of the above would be cool.

    OK, how about a high school team called the Paducah Negroes? “Negroes” is a term that is not necessarily racist, yet black folks choose not to identify themselves as such. People respect black folks’ choice not to call themselves Negro and so people don’t call them by that name. Yet, it’s different with Native people. Somehow non-racist black folks, white folks, and Latinos feel that it’s OK to identify Natives in a way that we simply do not—and do not want to—identify ourselves.

    If that is not racist, it is at the very least incredibly racially insensitive.

  60. Bruce,

    The following is an excerpt from a speech that Russell Means gave in 1980:

    (You notice I use the term American Indian rather than Native American or Native indigenous people or Amerindian when referring to my people. There has been some controversy about such terms, and frankly, at this point, I find it absurd. Primarily it seems that American Indian is being rejected as European in origin—which is true. But all the above terms are European in origin; the only non-European way is to speak of Lakota—or, more precisely, of Oglala, Bruleě, etc.—and of the Dine, the Miccosukee, and all the rest of the several hundred correct tribal names.

    (There is also some confusion about the word Indian, a mistaken belief that it refers somehow to the country, India. When Columbus washed up on the beach in the Caribbean, he was not looking for a country called India. Europeans were calling that country Hindustan in 1492. Look it up on the old maps. Columbus called the tribal people he met “Indio,” from the Italian in dio, meaning “in God.”)

  61. Chuck, Let’s see, you know someone who knows someone, who fought w/ a courageous Indian. So, my not abiding PC, even though I know Indians, socialize w/ them, have spoken of their greatness as a people and culture, visited reservations, roomed w/ an Indian, makes me a “racist.” I thought that mindset and practice left this blog. Chuck, we simply disagree on the mascot issue. That does not make me a racist and you diminish yourself as a GBer hurling that accusation. I surmise you and Elaine know few if any Indians. As I said @ the outset, when it can be proven to me via a valid poll[Gallup, not Kos!] that the majority of Indians want these mascots abolished, I will join them. I know old habits are hard to break, particularly in the middle of the night, but you need to maybe read the civility rule before shooting from the hip.

  62. Chuck, I know the epithet game from seeing it played so many times here in the past. Throw it out there, and then when someone objects the accuser says coyly, “Oh, I wasn’t talking about you!” So, I have read all the threads over AGAIN. I see nothing racist in any. What was said here that was racist? I know you won’t take the accusation back. So, back it up.

  63. Jim Crow Laws??? You either show a fundamental lack of understanding of the horror of those laws, or you reacted too quickly w/ the keyboard. You diminish the cruelty that affected every moment of a black person’s life in the Jim Crow south. If we polled black people in the South under Jim Crow I think they would have been opposed, don’t you raff? Come on, man.

  64. I read that Elaine. I was just taking a shot @ your 2016 candidate. We Hillary opponents are just gettin’ warmed up.

  65. Pat, Great link!
    In our time it may well be considered an insult NOT to include native indigenous descendants as ‘American’ and perhaps generally and historically as ‘American Indians’ since the era of exclusion and exploitation must be superseded by a shared experience on this continent. In the largest universal frame we are all of the earth, but we separate ourselves with reduction and exclusion out of both identity and what we perceive as necessity in real time.
    consider this perspective written as an attempt to see things from the native shores seeing the arrival of Europeans. After receiving the French
    Native American Discoveries of Europe
    by Daniel K. Richter
    …For the Innu, as for most eastern Native Americans, a vast range of “persons” comprised the universe, and only a small minority were humans like us; most were what anthropologists call “other-than-human persons.”
    “…Europeans assumed a role similar to that of those other-than-human persons in this complex world,…”
    Now to keep things in a critical universal perspective, it is necessary to realize that the Europeans (self-called ‘civilized’) had the same assessment of fellow citizens of the world.
    check here:

    “In the bulls Dum diversas (1452) and Romanus Pontifex (1455) the right of taking pagans as perpetual slaves was granted to Christians. In the opinion of some[who?], these bulls served as a justification for the subsequent era of slave trade and colonialism.

    With the realization that the Americas represented regions of the Earth with which the Europeans were not aware of earlier, there arose intense speculation over the question whether the natives of these lands were true humans or not. Together with that went a debate over the (mis)treatment of these natives by the Conquistadores and colonists.

    A substantial party believed that these new found peoples were not truly human,…”

    Later, and in contrast:
    “In Sublimis Deus, Paul III unequivocally declares the indigenous peoples of the Americas to be rational beings with souls, denouncing any idea to the contrary as directly inspired by the “enemy of the human race…”

    The Sublimus Dei [English: ‘From God on high’] (also seen as Sublimus Deus and Sublimis Deus) is a papal bull promulgated by Pope Paul III on June 2, 1537.

    What I am trying to point out here is that we are all cut from the same cloth, but we all utilized “distinction” in the formation of identity, and unfortunately reduction, exploitation and even “extinction” appears in the execution of our self service and our own self righteous behavior. The question here is whether football promotion is a perversion of dignity to Native identity and hypocritical to American idealism and consciousness we presumably ALL Share.
    Regards to you Pat,
    and thanks again for the reference link you contributed!

  66. I forgot, you’re holding out hope for Elizabeth Warren. Well, don’t hold your breath. And, you really don’t understand my utter disdain for the duopoly, do you? I’m not in your duopoly box, and I never will be. I probably won’t even vote for Walker as guv next election. I have already expressed my liking Mary Burke. I believe I introduced you and SWM to her awhile back. So far I like Burke. But, I’ll keep watching and reading. She’s a Dem not a pawn of the teacher’s union. You know I love that.

  67. Pat, Thanks for the info. I never read that. I just know that as an Italian I’m supposed to be ashamed of Columbus. I was in Genoa a couple months ago and man, they love him there.

  68. nick,

    You have no idea what I think about things–except for what I write on this blog. You often make assumptions about people. You have a wealth of preconceived ideas about people, their lives, who they socialize with, what they think, etc. Not all Democrats think alike. As Will Rogers once said: “I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Democrat.”

    I don’t want Elizabeth Warren to run for president. I like having her in the Senate.

  69. Ultimately the issue of naming is superfluous and I have to agree with Nick Spinelli on the merits of attacking it as contentious. Afterall, what’s in a name?

    But after all is said and done, it has become another opportunity to broadcast a deeply human message of cultural negligence. One that is difficult to articulate if not actually accentuate in the minds of distracted sports fans that feel interrupted by some sideline controversy. In that regard, where else are you going to get that much exposure to audiences that are that much complacent, from a market that commands that much money and that much popular power & appeal?

  70. Bruce,

    “Afterall, what’s in a name?”

    Um…let me think. Would you think it appropriate to talk about American Indians as “Redskins” in conversation? Would you call an American Indian a Redskin to his/her face? Would you call a Jewish person a Kike? A Chinese person a Chink? A Black person a “N*gger?” Would you call anyone of a particular ethnicity/race a Spic? A Gook? A Greaseball? A Slant-eye?

  71. Native Americans speak on sports imagery

    As the debate over the use of Native American imagery by sports teams continues to heat up, the discussion is particularly intense in our nation’s capital, where there’s a growing movement to change the local NFL team’s name from a racial slur to something more palatable. Several Washington Post columnists have called for a name change; the Washington Redskins blog Hogs Haven also supports the name change; the weekly Washington City Paper has already begun calling the team by a different name; and just last week, Washington mayor Vincent Gray pointedly avoided using the team’s name in his State of the District address.

    But as the arguments continue to pour in on both sides, one fact is inescapable: Most of the voices that have been heard in this debate, including mine, have not come from American Indians. That has led many readers to ask me, “Why do you, as a white person, think you get to speak for Indians on this topic? If this is an issue that affects Native Americans, why can’t they speak for themselves?”

    That’s exactly what happened in Washington this past Thursday at the National Museum of the American Indian, which held a day-long symposium on the use of Native American imagery in sports. Most of the panelists were American Indians, as were many of the audience members who spoke during discussion segments. I’m going to devote most of this column to their words.

    One of the day’s recurring themes was a strong rejection of the notion that American Indian mascots and team names somehow “honor” Native Americans. Here’s a sampling of thoughts that were offered on that idea:

    • From E. Newton Jackson, professor of sports management at the University of North Florida and a member of the Cherokee Tribes of South Carolina: “How does one person tell another that they honor them best? How do we do that when I’m telling you that what you’re saying and doing does not honor me?”

    • From Lois Risling, land specialist for the Hoopa Valley Tribes, who attended Stanford University in the early 1970s, when the school’s teams were known as the Indians and were cheered on to “scalp the [Cal] bear”: “We were told it was an honor to have an Indian mascot chosen as the symbol as a great university. When 55 of us presented a petition to have the name and symbol changed, we were told we were all taking it too personal and should just get over it. When we said Prince Lightfoot [the school’s live mascot at the time] was wearing clothing that was wrong, and that his dance was wrong, we were told, ‘Stanford Indians dress like this, and anyone who goes to Stanford is a Stanford Indian, so that makes it OK.'”

    • From John Orendorff, a U.S. Army colonel and Native American: “I often feel that the underlying point of these ‘honors’ is that my Indian heritage is owned by others. The message I’m constantly getting is: ‘We own you. We will define how we honor you. Don’t tell us whether you like it or not, because we own you. When we hunt down Osama bin Laden, we can refer to him as Geronimo — which happens to be my son’s name — because we own you. You don’t control how you’re perceived. We control that. Because we own you.'”

    • From Robert Holden, deputy director of the National Congress of American Indians: “I’m a sports junkie, but I don’t think the [team] owners understand that they’re not honoring us. Honors like that we don’t need. Please, take it back.”

  72. Bruce, You can’t speak rationally w/ the irrational. Particularly those who have no first hand knowledge of Indians, or even know any. This has devolved into the Richard Sherman thread. NO ONE in that thread said ANYTHING racist. It was STIPULATED that many who spoke out against Sherman in this county were racist. But Bruce, some want to call you a racist if you are not PC. That is why PC must be fought everywhere it is found. It is illegitimate and Unconstitutional. This thread is just one of many examples over the years on this blog.

  73. Another “It’s all about Nick Spinelli” thread. What a shame almost every thread ends up this way. Making assumptions about other internet commenters and trying to make them real to others, seems to be the Achilles heel. I suggest it detracts from the conversation and makes some commenters hesitate to even enter the discussion.

  74. And the elitist testimony continues. I stipulate elitist Indians abhor mascots. Of course, that didn’t work w/ your guy Richard Sherman either. Maybe someone should start commenting as “Strawman.” At least you’ll be linking rebuttals for SOMEONE!

  75. Elaine: As you must well know as a teacher of standing that it is an existential remorse; and a rhetorical phrase used in literature ever since…

    Jul. O Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou Romeo?
    Deny thy father, and refuse thy name;
    Or, if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love,
    And I’ll no longer be a Capulet.

    ” Rom. [Aside.] Shall I hear more, or shall I speak at this?

    Jul. ’Tis but thy name that is my enemy;
    Thou art thyself though, not a Montague.
    What’s Montague? it is nor hand, nor foot,
    Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part 45
    Belonging to a man. O! be some other name:

    What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
    By any other name would smell as sweet;
    So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call’d,
    Retain that dear perfection which he owes 50
    Without that title. Romeo, doff thy name;
    And for that name, which is no part of thee,
    Take all myself.

    Rom. I take thee at thy word.
    Call me but love, and I’ll be new baptiz’d; 55
    Henceforth I never will be Romeo.
    Jul. What man art thou, that, thus be-screen’d in night,
    So stumblest on my counsel?

    Rom. By a name
    I know not how to tell thee who I am: 60
    My name, dear saint, is hateful to myself,
    Because it is an enemy to thee:
    Had I it written, I would tear the word.”

    William Shakespeare (1564–1616).
    The Oxford Shakespeare. 1914.

    Romeo and Juliet

    Act II. Scene II.

    (“Rom. He jests at scars, that never felt a wound.”)

  76. No one chooses an offensive name for himself. Well, maybe not Evil Knievel or Pussy Galore. If the Redskins believe their name is not offensive, then why shouldn’t we respect their right to free speech? There are many English words that translate into foreign words that are smut. This does not give Hispanics the right, for someone named Cameron, for example, to force her to change her name, or else.

    The sentence “Rose is a rose is a rose is a rose.” was written by Gertrude Stein as part of the 1913 poem Sacred Emily, which appeared in the 1922 book Geography and Plays. In that poem, the first “Rose” is the name of a person. Stein later used variations on the sentence in other writings, and “A rose is a rose is a rose” is probably her most famous quotation, often interpreted as meaning “things are what they are”, a statement of the law of identity, “A is A”.”
    see: Variations by others (at the above link)

  78. In the contemporary United States, “redskin” is often but not universally regarded as a racial epithet.[20] The term is considered by some to be extremely offensive (an r-word for Native Americans equivalent to the n-word for African-Americans),[21] but neutral by others.[22] The American Heritage style guide advises that “the term redskin evokes an even more objectionable stereotype” than the use of red as a racial adjective by outsiders,[23] while others urge writers to use the term only in a historical context.[24] The consensus based upon a comparison of current media usage and dictionary definitions is that the term has negative or disparaging connotations.[25]

  79. Samantha, I would venture a guess @ least 80% of people don’t know the origins of “Schmuck” a word thrown out cavalierly. It’s “penis” in Yiddish but has become something more benign in US culture. The core of PC is controlling speech. Unconstitutional. I think we have some folks who would feel more comfortable in Great Britain, France, Iran and The Kingdom.

  80. See Samantha, wordpress didn’t pick up on “schmuck.” Let’s try a word used a lot where I grew up, “Putana!” That’s a banned wordpress word.

  81. I see the PC folks are giving “Redskin” r-word status. This is a new tactic by the Word Police. It is pernicious.

  82. PC word usage:

    Honky: That’s OK

    White Trash: Still OK

    Mick: The M-word.

    Dago: The D-word

    Fat Conservative Cracker: Ha, ha ha. Of course its OK.

    Redneck: Allowed even w/ profanity like “F@ckn’ Redneck.”

    Beaner: B-Word.

    The “R-word,” which I first saw here today, is priceless. It shows the mindset and pathology of the word police.

  83. Emailing from Alaska – Thank you for posting this.
    20% of our state population is Alaska Native – my better half, a Marine who served this country in Vietnam is Cupik

  84. Bruce,

    I’m glad you liked the link. I am assuming you read the entire speech. Your mentioning papal bulls made me think of this this one about the Doctrine of Discovery. How many time, just within the last year, have you heard or even said: “We are a nation of laws”? Yes, laws that justify our presence here derived from papal bulls:

    I am really, really tired not haven slept and I hope what I write makes some sort of sense. But it seems to me that this whole question of naming a football team the Redskins is just a continuation of policies that resulted in the genocide of 120 million people ( North and South America). And of those First Peoples that are left cultural genocide is alive and well by being stripped of language, culture and religion.

    Geronimo has been mentioned on this thread as has Apache. Well, Geronimo’s name was Goyathlay; the Apache were the Mescalero-Chiricahua until the europeans re-branded them. I knew this having read a book titled The First Hundred Years of Nino Cochise about ten years ago (grandfather the legendary Chief Cochise, son of Tahza; one uncle, his mother’s brother, Goyathlay). But here are the Wikipedia links: if you are interested.

    One last thing before I sleep: Nick is totally correct when he states that most American Indians have more pressing problems than the naming of a football team. Problems like freezing to death in North Dakota. Fighting the gas and oil companies that are fracking their lands. Fighting the KXL pipeline, not only to keep their lands and waters from being polluted, but also the man camps of workers that have brought even more rape, violence and drugs to their communities on the rez. Dealing with the sequestration cuts that have about wiped out the few jobs left on the rez such as law enforcement.

    It just seems to me that the renaming of a football team is but one small thing they ask. Would it REALLY be all that inconvenient compared to what they have gone and are going through? To not be viewed as a character?

  85. nick,

    Maybe people in your world use those words. What’s PC to you may not seem PC to others. I had never before heard of the word “beaner.”

    I would never call an American Indian a Redskin. Call me an elitist. I don’t care. I’d wear it as a badge of honor in that case.

  86. From the “Democracy Now segment”, posted yesterday by Elaine M.:


    BOB COSTAS: Objections to names like Braves, Chiefs, Warriors and the like strike many of us as political correctness run amok. These nicknames honor rather than demean. They’re pretty much the same as Vikings, Patriots or even Cowboys. And names like Blackhawks, Seminoles and Chippewas, while potentially more problematic, can still be OK, provided the symbols are appropriately respectful, which is where the Cleveland Indians, with the combination of their name and Chief Wahoo logo, have sometimes run into trouble.

    A number of teams, mostly in the college ranks, have changed their names in response to objections. The Stanford Cardinal and the Dartmouth Big Green were each once the Indians. The St. John’s Redmen have become the Red Storm. And the Miami of Ohio Redskins—that’s right, Redskins—are now the Redhawks. Still, the NFL franchise that represents the nation’s capital has maintained its name.

    But think for a moment about the term “Redskins” and how it truly differs from all the others. Ask yourself what the equivalent would be if directed toward African Americans, Hispanics, Asians or members of any other ethnic group. When considered that way, Redskins can’t possibly honor a heritage or a noble character trait, nor can it possibly be considered a neutral term. It’s an insult, a slur, no matter how benign the present-day intent. It’s fair to say that for a long time now, and certainly in 2013, no offense has been intended. But if you take a step back, isn’t it clear to see how offense might legitimately be taken?

    CLYDE BELLECOURT: First of all, my traditional name, my spirit name given to me by the creator, is Nee-gon-we-way-we-dun, or the Thunder Before the Storm. But when I was born 77 years ago, I was not allowed—no Indian people were allowed—to have an Indian name. We couldn’t pray, sing, dance, carry on our traditional spiritual way of life.

    Last night, as one of the monumental walk took place, from the heart of the Indian community in South Minneapolis, one of the largest concentrated Indian communities in America, over a thousand mostly Native people, some of them in their full regalia to show the beauty of our culture, went along with us, marched on the stadium, carrying banners that said, “The ‘R’ word is no different than the ‘N’ word.” “The ‘R’ word is no different than the ‘N’ word.” Little Red Sambo has to go. Little Black Sambo is gone, and now it’s time for Little Red Sambo to go.

    It’s not really the names. It’s not just the names. It’s the behavior created when they get a little bit behind, you know, the Washington team or Cleveland, they start hollering “Scalp them f—in’ Twins!” “Scalp the Vikings! Massacre them!” And our children grab our arms—our nephews and nieces, our sons and daughters. “Come on, Dad. Come, Grandpa. Let’s go home. Let’s go home. Let’s get out of here.” It has a tremendous psychological effect on Indian people.

    And if Dan Snyder knew where the word “Redskin” comes, truly understood it, I think he would make that change—a man knowing what a holocaust is and what genocide is. Goes all the way back to Governor Kalb [ phon. ] in Newfoundland in the 1500s. When they started their Western expansion, the Indian people were in their way, so he put out a bounty on Indian people. It was perfectly legal to kill Indians then. And they were bringing them in by the wagon loads. Women, who didn’t have any rights back then, and the church started speaking out about it. It became to cumbersome financially to bury them. So he said, to prove that you killed an Indian, now that’s all you had to do was bring in their skull. And they said they were bringing them in by gunny sacks, bushel baskets, bringing wagon loads to collect their bounties. The women spoke out again, put pressure, pressure on the governor, Kalb. And he said, “To prove you that you kill an Indian, that’s all you have to do now is bring in a lock of their hair.” So when they cut that scalp off the Indian people’s head, now they could go after little children, babies, and collect more money. That blood would run down their face, that red blood, and down their bodies. They’d put those pouches, the pouches on their leg, their scalps, and come in and collect their bounty. Henceforth, there’s been over 60 tribes that have been totally erased from the face of the Earth, no longer exist. And Dan Snyder should understand that, being Jewish himself. There are Jewish people still here, but there are tribes that have been totally decimated. And that’s where the word “Redskin” comes from. And we’re demanding that that change. The “R” word is no different than the “N” word, and Little Red Sambo has to go.

  87. Elaine, people who use such slurs to describe people from differing races and nationalities tend to be ignorant and uneducated, or asocial. When I hear people using these slurs I try hard to consider the source.

  88. I don’t regard any of those slurs Nick throws out to be fit speech in any context. Especially among educated people. Crude, impolite and insensitive. But then I consider the source.

  89. Talk is cheap: hide the words and it is all better? What have all these clean-at the-mouth cosmopolitan people done to correct the foundational fallacy of their own history?

    “Contrary to popular opinion, reservations are not lands given to Indians by the United States government. Quite the opposite is true; land was given to the U.S. by the tribes through treaties. What are now reservations is the land retained by the tribes after the treaty-based land cessions (not to mention other mechanisms by which the U.S. seized Indian lands without consent). Indian reservations are created in one of three ways: By treaty, by executive order of the President, or by an act of Congress.

    Land in Trust

    Based on federal Indian law, Indian reservations are lands held in trust for tribes by the federal government. This problematically means that the tribes technically do not own title to their own lands, but the trust relationship between tribes and the U.S. dictates that the U.S. has a fiduciary responsibility to administer and manage the lands and resources to the best advantage of the tribes.

    Historically, the U.S. has failed miserably in its management responsibilities. Federal policies have led to massive land loss and gross negligence in resource extraction on reservation lands. For example, uranium mining in the southwest has led to dramatically increased levels of cancer in the Navajo Nation and other Pueblo tribes.”

    Related Articles

    Tribal Profile: Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation
    The Deplorable Legacy of the Dawes Act
    Native Magic in Arizona – Reader Stories: Sacred Places to Visit and See
    BLM Government Land Sales – About the Sale of Government-owned Lands …
    The Pomo Death Marches: A Little Known Relocation Event in Native American …
    Talk is cheap.

  90. From the Department of the Interior: Indian Affairs

    What is a federal Indian reservation?

    In the United States there are three types of reserved federal lands: military, public, and Indian. A federal Indian reservation is an area of land reserved for a tribe or tribes under treaty or other agreement with the United States, executive order, or federal statute or administrative action as permanent tribal homelands, and where the federal government holds title to the land in trust on behalf of the tribe.

    Approximately 56.2 million acres are held in trust by the United States for various Indian tribes and individuals. There are approximately 326 Indian land areas in the U.S. administered as federal Indian reservations (i.e., reservations, pueblos, rancherias, missions, villages, communities, etc.). The largest is the 16 million-acre Navajo Nation Reservation located in Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah. The smallest is a 1.32-acre parcel in California where the Pit River Tribe’s cemetery is located. Many of the smaller reservations are less than 1,000 acres.

    Some reservations are the remnants of a tribe’s original land base. Others were created by the federal government for the resettling of Indian people forcibly relocated from their homelands. Not every federally recognized tribe has a reservation. Federal Indian reservations are generally exempt from state jurisdiction, including taxation, except when Congress specifically authorizes such jurisdiction.

  91. Right on, Elaine. The mascot name change is just the beginning — perhaps the privileged white people understand as much in their atavistic souls — from small beginings . . .

    Work is getting underway to do away with or change Columbus Day.

  92. I have NEVER called an Indian a Redskin. I never heard the word “beaner” until moving to an area where there are Mexicans. When I lived in New England growing up it was Puerto Ricans, no Mexicans. The term beaner is merely a reference to Mexican’s love of beans. It’s pretty low on the normal person scale. Who the hell knows w/ PC people. Their acceptable words change daily. I think there must be a daily newsletter. Wetback is a low blow. My son has been called beaner, wetback, spic, etc. I’ve been called wop, dago, greaseball, guinea, etc. They’re just words. I certainly hated it when my son was called those things. But, I taught him what my old taught me when I was called those names. “At least they’re saying it to your face. It’s the ones who smile and call you those things behind your back that you have to identify and watch.” Controlling what people say is antithetical to everything I believe. Finally, one is not an elitist because they don’t use a non PC word. They are an elitist when they try and tell other people not to.

  93. Dr. OS,

    And Dr. Charles K is one of the most conservative individuals on FoxNews. If he said it is offensive, and should be removed, Mr. Snyder should have focus group, thinking of some names: The Washington Filibusters, Washington Think Tanks, Washington Gridlocks, Washington Budget Busters, Washington Cheapos, Washington Plutocrats, Washington Tax Havens, Washington Money Wasters,……

    Great Articles by Elaine, Van Pelt, and Anonymous Posted!

  94. nick:

    how long have the Redskins been in Washington? 70-80 years? Why are people just now getting upset about it?

    I say change it to the Washington Whities or Washington Rednecks and be done with it. No one ever names a team Crackers, Rednecks, Whities or Pale Faces.

    Maybe call them the Washington Pale Faces and have Liberace as the mascot?
    That way we celebrate whites, gays, and Italians in one go round. White Polacks from Pittsburg already have a team; The Steelers. I think Warriors, Braves, Indians, etc has been way over used and animal names are as well.

    It is a wonder PeTA hasnt chimed in about the Dolphins, Tigers, Bears and Panthers.

    We have all of this white privilege and we cant even get a sports team named after us, WTF is going on?

  95. Elaine M.,
    I think you have done a great service bringing the video ad to the public, but in real terms of exploit there are much more serious considerations. As far as this issue is actually concerned, it only serves as a vehicle to start communication that is neglected chronically by media. People think this is history but it is happening right now. To me, making a crisis over a football name has some relevance but not much significance compared to what is substantially happening to the Native peoples of North, Central and South America. There actually ARE things that can be supported that WILL make things better…support that makes a national consciousness out of a historic disgrace.
    Read for example:

  96. Bron,

    Don’t forget–with Liberace, you also celebrate Poles.

    This isn’t anything new. Some people have been trying to get the name changed for years. I had read somewhere while doing my research for this post that the Oneida Nation had come into money–via casinos–and is funding the new “Change The Mascot” campaign.

  97. Bruce, As I said earlier, the Indian reservations have SO MANY NEEDS. Some of them live in abject poverty and the substance abuse, suicide rate is an abomination. But, some folks feel good trying to get a name changed. They’ve never been to a reservation or even know any Indians. If they did they would see just how wasted their energy is when it could be used substantively. But, that would be HARD WORK. This is PC stuff is much cleaner.

  98. I find it the hight of hypocrisy to pretend to be concerned about the plight of people whom one is so comfortable using ethnic slurs against. Not believable for one moment.

  99. nick:

    the reason they want the name changed is because the Skins suck, I wouldnt want to be associated with them either. Maybe a better name, if they want to keep with a native American theme, would be the Washington Papooses; they cant move, are carried by the NFL are all wet and smell bad [diapers not Native Americans]. Not to be confused with the rapper of the same name.

    Or maybe just change the mascot to a peanut and have Planters Field?

    Any way you slice it Dan Snyder is ineffective as a team owner.

  100. Bron, Snyder is like Jerry Jones. Rich A-holes who think they know football and their team is like a fantasy team. Did you know DC is now the richest city in the US? How screwed up is that. All our money making pols and lobbyist fat cats. How about the DC Rich White A-Holes. That would be perfect,

  101. nick:

    you wouldnt believe the money around here, for the longest time I thought everyone was selling drugs until I realized the government is just taking your money and spending it like there is no tomorrow. And people abound willing to gather all they can.

    Just a bunch of pigs at the trough. Many of the households around here have 2 people in government service with household incomes over $200k plus fat retirements. And many if not most of those people dont create or produce anything, their sole reason for existing is to take from Peter and give to Paul. They contribute little to society as far as I can tell. Mostly they hamstring the rest of us in the guise of protecting the public.

    If every American spent 6 months with a lobbyist in DC, it would open their eyes to the abuse we suffer at the hands of government and industry. I believe most of the graft and corruption started with government granting favors, now industry is like swarming maggots on a rotting carcass.

    You know things are screwed up when the area around DC is one of the richest areas in the US. How is that possible? There isnt any major industrial or financial center here. It is all that money from the people who work hard for it day in and day out. It is just being pissed away.

  102. Annieofwi proffered:
    “I find it the hight of hypocrisy to pretend to be concerned about the plight of people whom one is so comfortable using ethnic slurs against. “
    Excellently true Annie.

  103. Bruce,

    I wrote a post for Flowers for Socrates recently about what Chevron is doing to avoid paying billions of dollars in damages for contamination of rain forest lands in Ecuador caused by Texaco.

    Chevron Going after a Political Cartoonist for Satirical Video He Made with Amazon Watch.

    Here is the video that Mark Fiore made about Chevron:

    Charlene Teters, Spokane

    On the verge of the millenium, Indian people are still involved in what Michael Haney has described as the longest undeclared war against the American Indian, here in our own homeland. This war, no longer on battlefields is now being fought in the courtrooms, corporation boardrooms, and classrooms over the appropriation of Native American names, spiritual and cultural symbols by professional sports, Hollywood, schools, and universities. The issue for us is the right to self identification and self determination this is the fight of the National Coalition on Racism in Sports and the Media.

    The American Indian community for 50 years has worked to banish images and names like Cleveland’s chief wahoo, Washington redskins, Kansas City chiefs, Atlanta braves. We work to remind people of consciousness of the use of the symbols resemblance to other historic, racist images of the past. Chief wahoo offends Indian people the same way that little black sambo offended African Americans and the frito bandito offended the Hispanic community and should have offended all of us. It assaults the principle of justice.

    Last year during the media hype that surrounded the baseball playoff games between New York and Cleveland, the New York Post caught up in the hype covered its front page with the headline, “Take the Tribe and Scalp ‘Em.” Little concern was shown for the Indian children, or community living in New York City, or around the country. The American public has been conditioned by sports industry, educational institutions, and the media to trivialize Indigenous culture as common and harmless entertainment. On high school and college campuses Native American students do not feel welcome if the school uses as its mascot (not a clown, a mythical creature, or an animal) a Chief, the highest political position you can attain in our society. Using our names, likeness and religious symbols to excite the crowd does not feel like honor or respect, it is hurtful and confusing to our young people. To reduce the victims of genocide to a mascot is unthinking, at least, and immoral at worst. An educational institution’s mission is to educate, not mis-educate, and to alleviate the ignorance behind racist stereotypes, not perpetuate them and to provide a nondiscriminatory environment for all its students, conducive to learning.

  105. Elaine:

    That is a BS article. The Frito Bandito was a rascist symbol? Come on. Then I am offended by Martin Sheen playing a white man on tv. Talk about negative role model.

    I am further offended by pigs being used as a symbol for capitalists, seems to me the pigs are the ones who feed at someone elses trough and lay around all day sleeping in a mud wallow.

  106. A hypocrite is someone who sanctimoniously declares “this is personal” and then goes about relating a story about knowing a person, who knows a person, who knew a courageous Indian. Then to further the hypocrisy calling people “racist” who have not said or done anything racist. No one here has called anyone a racist slur. The personal attacks, led by GBer’s and malcontents w/ no substantive comments, is a disservice to this blog. Again, I am friends w/ Indians, I have them to my house, I roomed w/ an Indian. I care ABOUT THE BIG PROBLEMS in their culture. You elitists are fiddling while the reservations burn. I have spoken several times about a former student who I keep in touch w/ and have helped who is Chippewa. So, can the personal attacks. Read the civility rule. We can disagree w/o being nasty.

  107. I guess it’s a matter of opinion as to what constitutes a substantive comment on this thread. Some feel that it’s okay to use racial and ethnic slurs; some of us do not.

  108. Elaine:

    “. . . and the frito bandito offended the Hispanic community and should have offended all of us.”

    That one. The Frito Bandito is offensive to Hispanics but Hispanic gang bangers arent? The Frito Bandito is an easy target, MS13 not so much.

    La Raza: “hey Frito Lay, we dont like you spreading bad examples so can that Bandito character.”

    Frito Lay: “See Senor we will do it pronto.”

    La Raza: “Hey MS13 quit being violent and disrupting our communities and spreading negative stereotypes about Hispanics.”

    MS13: ” Bang, bang go fuk yourself.”

  109. Who here has used a racial slur? I talked about MY SON and myself being called racial slurs. Does that constitute using racial slurs? Does my parody of PC and the “R-Word”, using MY ETHNICITIES as examples constitute a racial slur? Know any Indians, Elaine?? Tell it to your strawman.

  110. Bron,

    Do you think “redskins” is an offensive word? Do you think it disparages a group of people? What do you think about Chief Wahoo of the Cleveland Indians? Do you think it is a dignified representation on American Indians?

  111. I must say it is ironic that the noble Indian mascots like Chief Illini, Marquette Warriors, etc. have been destroyed by the PC police and Chief Wahoo and Redskins live on. I have said in prior discussions I found Chief Wahoo by far the most offensive representation. The Indians redrew him to a less offensive character.

    The core of PC is the right to not be offended that somehow elitist think is more important than the First Amendment. There is a right to free speech. There is NO right to not be offended.

  112. nick,

    You’ve done a lot of complaining on this thread about the issue of changing the name of an NFL football team. You’ve called those who disagree with you irrational and elitist. You seem extremely upset by this Change the Mascot campaign. Remember, this initiative was launched by American Indians–the Oneida Nation and the National Congress of American Indians. Some of us–including me–agree with their stance on the issue. If you are so bothered by this campaign, I suggest you contact the Oneida Nation and the NCAI and explain to them the error of their ways.

    Change the Mascot

    National Congress of American Indians (NCAI)
    Embassy of Tribal Nations
    1516 P Street NW, Washington, DC 20005
    Phone: (202) 466-7767, Fax: (202) 466-7797

  113. Anti-Defamation & Mascots
    National Congress of American Indians

    From time immemorial, the greatness of tribal nations and Native people has been the foundation of America’s story. From tribes’ role as America’s first governments, to modern day actors, athletes, and political leaders, Native people contribute to American greatness every single day. Negative Indian stereotypes – especially those perpetuated by sports mascots – affect the reputation and self-image of every single Native person and foster ongoing discrimination against tribal citizens.

    In general, NCAI strongly opposes the use of derogatory Native sports mascots. However, in the case where mascots refer to a particular Native nation or nations, NCAI respects the right of individual tribal nations to work with universities and athletic programs to decide how to protect and celebrate their respective tribal heritage.

    Indian mascots and stereotypes present a misleading image of Indian people and feed the historic myths that have been used to whitewash a history of oppression. Despite decades of work to eliminate the use of discrimination and derogatory images in American sports, the practice has not gone away.

    NCAI is pleased that tribal advocates have succeeded in eliminating over two-thirds of derogatory Indian sports mascots and logos over the past 50 years. Today, there are fewer than 1,000 of these mascots left. In 2005, the National Collegiate Athletic Association, the governing body of college athletics, formally condemned the use of disparaging mascots and banned the use of Indian names, logos, and mascots during its championship tournaments.

    However, there is plenty of work yet to do—especially in the realm of professional sports. NCAI recognizes that this can be a difficult and sensitive issue, and we acknowledge the significance of athletics for the public, as well as the attachment (both emotionally and financially) of professional teams and university athletic programs to their names and logos. At the end of the day, there is no excuse for cultural stereotypes that degrade, slander, mock or belittle Native people. This misrepresentation would not be acceptable for any other minority community in America and NCAI will continue to oppose the use of offensive Native mascots and imagery that promote harmful stereotypes.

  114. Native American Group: Fight Against ‘Redskins’ About More Than Just The Name
    By Travis Waldron
    October 11, 2013

    One of the main criticisms of the opposition to the name of Washington’s professional football team, at least one propagated by name defenders like ESPN’s Rick Reilly, is that the efforts to change the name are driven largely by white apologists who aren’t in touch with the Native American community. That isn’t and hasn’t been true, but as controversy over the name has escalated to new heights this year and as the media has taken a new interest in amplifying complaints against the name, Native American groups are renewing their fight and shaping the argument in new ways.

    The Oneida Nation is one of those groups. It has aired advertisements in New York targeting NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s support for the name, protested outside a Green Bay Packers game against Washington, held a conference in D.C. opposite the NFL owners meeting, and will air radio ads in Dallas during Washington’s game there this weekend. The National Congress of American Indians, which has long opposed the name, is now joining the fight in a new way, releasing a white paper this week that details its long opposition to the use of Native American imagery in sports and the discriminatory history from which those names arose.

    The white paper also attempts to shatter another one of the central arguments in favor of names like “Redskins” and logos like the Cleveland Indians’ Cheif Wahoo: that changing them is nothing more than a political correctness issue and that Native Americans face far larger problems than a football team’s name or a baseball team’s logo. Citing research from sociologists and psychologists, NCAI’s white paper explains that these names and the stereotypes they perpetuate has harmful psychological and societal effects on Native Americans, a population that battles higher-than-average rates of suicide, alcoholism, depression, and addiction. From the paper:

    Empirical evidence in a 2004 study by Dr. Stephanie Fryberg, a preeminent cultural and social psychology scholar and an enrolled member of the Tulalip Tribes in Washington state, showed that the use of American Indian-based names, mascots, and logos in sports have a negative psychological effect on Native peoples and positive psychological consequences for European Americans. Additionally, Fryberg has concluded that these mascots have negative effects on race relations in the United States.

    When exposed to these images, the self-esteem of Native youth is harmfully impacted, their self-confidence erodes, and their sense of identity is severely damaged. Specifically, these stereotypes affect how Native youth view their world and their place in society, while also affecting how society views Native peoples. This creates an inaccurate portrayal of Native peoples and their contributions to society. Creating positive images and role models is essential in helping Native youth more fully and fairly establish themselves in today’s society.

  115. National Congress of American Indians slams Redskins
    Erik Brady, USA TODAY Sports 1
    October 11, 2013

    The National Congress of American Indians issued a 29-page report Thursday on the moral and social reasons why the shrinking number of sports teams that hold on to their Indian names should shed them.

    The NCAI, which bills itself as the nation’s oldest, largest and most representative American Indian and Alaska Native advocacy organization, has held similar positions since 1968. Its report, which focuses particular attention on the Washington pro football club, comes one day after owner Daniel Snyder defended use of his team’s name, citing history and tradition.

    “There is one thing that we can agree with the Washington football team about — the name ‘Redsk*ns’ is a reflection of the team’s legacy and history,” NCAI executive director Jacqueline Pata said in a statement. “Unfortunately, the team’s legacy and history is an ugly one.”


    Contemporary Native American issues in the United States


    1 Demographics
    2 Societal discrimination and racism
    2.1 Affirmative action issues
    3 Native American mascots in sports
    4 Historical depictions in art
    5 Terminology differences
    5.1 Common usage in the United States
    6 Gambling industry
    7 Crime on reservations
    8 Public health
    8.1 Alcoholism
    8.2 Suicide
    8.2.1 Prevalence of suicide among Native Americans
    8.2.2 Suicide prevention
    9 References


    Code name Geronimo controversy
    “The code name Geronimo controversy came about after media reports that the U.S. operation to kill Osama bin Laden used the code name “Geronimo” to refer to either the overall operation, to fugitive bin Laden himself or to the act of killing or capturing bin Laden”

    “Geronimo’s great-grandson, Vietnam War veteran Harlyn Geronimo, issued a statement requesting explanations and apologies.[19]

    On 8 May 2011, President Obama was interviewed by 60 Minutes saying “There was a point before folks had left, before we had gotten everybody back on the helicopter and were flying back to base, where they said Geronimo has been killed, and Geronimo was the code name for bin Laden.”

  118. Elaine:

    Honestly, I dont care how Italians, Indians, whites, blacks, Hispanics, Asians, etc. are portrayed. Dont watch the Redskins play if you dont like it and boycott FedEx.

    Political correctness is BS and it is used to stifle speech. Women arent as strong as men, western culture was superior if the metric is improving human life, animals are not equal to humans, trees are for making houses, etc.

    Do I care if a bunch of native people killed a bunch of white people 200 years ago and then were killed themselves? Not really, humans have been killing each other for thousands of years, I wish they wouldnt but I doubt they will ever figure it out. Indian society is a mess and they worry about an offensive name? That is like having a broken arm and being worried about doing your nails.

    I dont like Dan Snyder but if I were him, I would say no to changing the name. If sales went down, I would change the name. Let the market decide.

    By the way Charles K. is a neo-con so his opinion doesnt really matter too much to me. He is almost the same philosophically as liberals.

    By the way here is a good article on the subject by Dr. C. Bradley Thompson:

    “What, then, are the core principles of neoconservatism?

    1.Neoconservative Metaphysics: The neocons take the “political community” or what Irving Kristol called the “collective self” as the primary unit of moral, social and political value. They accept Plato’s premise that the polis or the nation is the only community adequate for the fulfillment of man’s natural end or telos, which they associate with what they variously call the “public interest” or the “common good.” The actual content of the “public interest” is whatever wise and benevolent men say it is, which is precisely why it should never be defined. The highest task of neoconservative statesmanship is to superimpose ideological unity on the “collective self” in the name of an ever-shifting “public interest.”

    2.Neoconservative Epistemology: Neoconservatives begin with the Platonic assumption that ordinary people are irrational and must be guided by those who are rational. According to Irving Kristol, there are “different kinds of truth for different kinds of people. There are truths appropriate for children; truths appropriate for students; truths that are appropriate for educated adults, and the notion that there should be one set of truths available to everyone is a modern democratic fallacy.” The highest truth in Strauss and Kristol is restricted to the philosopher, while the common man is and must be limited to “knowledge” of a different sort: to myth, revelation, custom, and prejudice. Neoconservatives believe the opinions of the nation must therefore be shaped by those who rule. To control ideas is to control public opinion, which in turn is to control the regime as a whole. Ultimately, the vulgar must be ruled by faith and by faith’s necessary ally, force.

    3.Neoconservative Ethics: If you believe, as Straussianized neocons do, that there are “different kinds of truth for different kinds of people,” then you must believe that there are and must be different moral codes as well. Ordinary people need some form of conventional morality that is easily learned, followed, and transmitted from one generation to another. The vulgar many need piety and patriotism as the ordering myths by which to live. For the neocons, morality is conventional and pragmatic. Because they regard the nation as the primary unit of political value and because they identify the “public interest” with the purpose of government, they regard moral good and virtue to be that which works—not for the individual, but for the nation. Morality is therefore defined as overcoming one’s petty self-interest so as to sacrifice for the common good.

    4.Neoconservative Politics: Central to the neoconservatives’ philosophy of governance is the conceit that it is possible, in the words of Kristol, for a small elite “to have an a priori knowledge of what constitutes happiness for other people.” Because common people cannot possibly know what they really want or what constitutes their true happiness, it is entirely appropriate for a philosophically trained political elite to guide them to their true happiness and to prevent them from making bad decisions. The highest purpose of neoconservative statesmanship is therefore to shape preferences, form habits, cultivate virtues, and create the “good” society, a society that is known a priori to those of superior philosophic wisdom. The neocons therefore advocate using government force to make “good” choices for America’s nonphilosophers in order to nudge them in certain directions—that is, toward choosing a life of virtue and duty. As Strauss made clear in his most influential work Natural Right and History, wise statesmen must learn to use “forcible restraint” and “benevolent coercion” in order to keep down the selfish and base desires of ordinary men.”

    Sure does sound like liberal/progressive ideology to me. Whoops.

  119. Stereotypes about indigenous peoples of North America
    “There are more numerous and varied stereotypes about indigenous peoples than about any other ethnic group in the Americas. While some of the worst portrayals of natives as bloodthirsty savages have disappeared, oversimplified or inaccurate portrayals remain, particularly in movies, which are the main source of popular images not only in the Americas but world-wide”

    Stereotypes about indigenous peoples of North America


    1 Ethnic terminology
    2 American Indians / Native Americans
    2.1 Physical characteristics
    2.2 Cultural misconceptions
    2.2.1 Religion
    2.2.2 Substance abuse
    2.3 Historical misconceptions
    3 Inuit stereotypes
    4 Effect of stereotyping
    5 Overcoming stereotypes
    6 See also
    7 References
    8 External links

  120. State organizations support anti-mascot bill
    By Will Chavez Staff Writer

    TULSA, Okla. – Several state organizations held a press conference Jan. 30 in downtown Tulsa to announce that a bill to prohibit Indian mascots was being reintroduced in the state Senate.

    Louis Gray, president of the Tulsa Indian Coalition Against Racism, said the press conference was to show support for Senate Bill 765, the Oklahoma Anti-Discriminatory Mascots Act, which seeks to prohibit Oklahoma public schools from using “racially derogatory or discriminatory Native American school or athletic team nicknames and mascots.”

    The act, which was introduced by state Sen. Judy Eason McIntyre, D-Dist. 11, also provides for penalties and enforcement and would become effective Nov. 1, 2009, if approved. McIntyre introduced a similar bill four years ago, but it died in a Senate committee.

    “We are just eternally grateful for the courage and wisdom of Sen. Judy Eason McIntyre. We’re going to try this again. We’re more prepared. We truly believe there are a lot more thoughtful Oklahomans to make the kind of courageous change that we are seeking,” Gray said. “This is not about calling anyone racist. What we are saying is the images and practices are harmful.”

    Specifically, the act requires all public schools to stop using team names, mascots or nicknames, including savages, redskins, any other Indian tribal name and any other racially derogatory or discriminatory school or athletic team name, mascot or nickname.

    “I’m not a redskin; I’m not a savage; I’m a person,” Gray said. “When we objectify people in a negative way it has meaning and it changes people. It changes the person that you call a savage and it changes the person who is calling the person a savage. So we want to end that practice…and make it illegal to do so in this state.”

    Gray said the legislation would not apply to schools such as Sequoyah High School and other area public schools that may use “braves, warriors and chiefs,” although he said TICAR believes those names objectify Indian people but are not racial slurs such as redskin and savage.

  121. American Indian Activist Russell Means Powerful Speech, 1989

    ‘Russell Means has been called the most famous American Indian since Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse by the Los Angeles Times and recognized as a natural leader with a fearless dedication and indestructible sense of pride.

    He took pride in having instituted programs for the betterment of his people: notable, the Porcupine Health Clinic (the only non government funded clinic in Indian Country) and KILI radio, the first Indian owned radio station.

    Today, one of his principle goals has been the establishment of a “Total Immersion School”, which is based on a concept created by the Maori people of New Zealand, where children are immersed in the language, culture, science, music and storytelling of their own people.

    Russell wanted to adapt this total immersion concept to the Indian way of life and philosophy which is taught from a perspective that will nurture a new generation of proud children educated in the context of their own heritage.”

  122. Here is an interesting discussion of what can happen when a university has had a long history with a mascot that five decades later was to be changed due to society’s objection to the message it conveys.

    It is the story of the mascot of Eastern Washington University, formerly the Savages and later the Eagles. It might offer some insight into what might be expected with the football team and the controversy in the change.

  123. “Savages” I can certainly see. But, “Warriors,” Chief Illini, Indians, etc. If I were a university prez I would have agreed w/ changing Savages in a heartbeat. The question is how do you persuade Dan Snyder. It’s HIS TEAM.

  124. By the reasoning of the PCers, shouldn’t they be all over the NAACP. Or, is it impossible for black people, or in this case, colored people, to be non PC. Are they, by definition, exempted from any PC violations?

  125. Elaine —

    You are a valiant warrior but to what end? There are those who would rather their minds be closed by belief than opened by wonder. They readily self-identify by bandying about words like “politically correct” or “elitist” – expressions used by those called out for failing to recognize or respect the basic human dignity of others and usually accompanied by misconstruing a threat to privileged status as an attack on freedom.

    I have spent more than 25 years closely working with native American tribes and their members among whom I first heard the use of “r-word” well over a decade ago. I live among almost a million Latinos, a near majority of which speaks only Spanish and, yes, the Frito Bandito is a racist animation.

  126. Kia mau ki te Kaupapa ! (Hold fast to the Vision)
    Indigenous Struggle for the Transformation of Education and Schooling

    Professor Graham Hingangaroa Smith

    The University of Auckland, N.Z.

    Keynote Address to the Alaskan Federation of Natives (AFN) Convention.
    Anchorage, Alaska, U.S

    October 2003
    Introduction: Maori Case Study

    The New Zealand case study examines the period of the 1980’s in New Zealand that has produced a range of societal changes for Maori, some which are still impacting in 2003. More importantly perhaps, the Maori example is a practical one in that it is not simply a set of ideas removed from practice. In considering the Maori example, there is a need to be clear what the real revolution was that occurred in New Zealand in the 1980’s. The revolution was not so much about the stunning language revitalization initiatives, (which is the popularly espoused interpretation of the revolution); in this view these were merely the outward visible signs of a much more profound revolution. The ‘real’ revolution of the 1980’s was a shift in mindset of large numbers of Maori people – a shift away from waiting for things to be done to them, to doing things for themselves; a shift away from an emphasis on reactive politics to and an emphasis on being more proactive; a shift from negative motivation to positive motivation. These shifts can be described as a move away from talking simplistically about ‘de-colonization’ (which puts the colonizer at the center of attention) to talking about ‘conscientization’ or ‘consciousness-raising’ (which puts Maori at the center). These ways of thinking illustrate a reawakening of the Maori imagination that had been stifled and diminished by colonization processes.

  127. Oro Lee: Thanks for the links, I am filing them and will pass them on as well.

    This is a good historic review from more of a Native perspective: Ironically, it utilizes a term in its title that is quite at odds with the premise of this blog entry.
    Red Cry (Doc.) – Today’s Genocide in America

  128. Elaine:

    “Some people use the tactic of accusing other people of being PC and elitist in order to stifle those with whom they disagree.”

    I think I said PC is BS, I dont think I accused you of being PC.

    “Political correctness is BS and it is used to stifle speech.” Nope, I didnt accuse anyone of being PC. Be PC all you want just dont expect it from other people.

  129. “Dan picked up the conversation.
    ‘That’s something you should think about, Nerburn’
    ‘Huh?’ I blurted.
    ‘Freedom and honor.’
    It sounded like a military slogan. ‘what do you mean?’ I said, only vaguely interested.
    ‘This is important’ Dan emphasized. ‘I want you to get it down’.
    ‘Okay – he said – Ready?’
    ‘Ready’ I really wasn’t.
    ‘This is something I’ve thought about for a long time. It’s about white people and why they don’t understand us. I think I know why. I think it’s because the most important thing for white people is freedom. The most important thing for Indian is Honor. This is why white people have listened to the black people more than us Indians. the black people want freedom too, just like white people. And since the white people took freedom from black people, the whites feel guilty about the blacks. but the Indian has always been free. We are free today. We have always been freer than the white man, even when he first came here. When you came to our shore your people wore clothes made out of chains. Our people wore nothing at all. Yet you tried to bring us freedom. The white world puts all the power at the top. When someone gets to the top, they have the power to take your freedom. When your people first came to our land they were
    trying to get away from those people at the top. But they still thought the same, and soon there were new people at the top in the new country. It is just the way you were taught to think. In your churches there is someone at the top. In your schools too. In your government. In your business. there is always someone at the top and that person has the right to say whether you are good or bad. They own you. No wonder Americans always worry about freedom. You have so damn little of it. If you don’t protect it, someone will take it away from you. You have to guard it every second, like a dog guards a bone. When you came among us, you couldn’t understand our way. You wanted to find the person at the top. You wanted to find the fences that bound us in – how far our land went, how far our government went. Your world was made of cages and you thought ours was, too. Even though you hated your cages you believed in them. They defined your world and you needed them to define ours. Our old people noticed this from the beginning. they said that the white man lived in a world of cages, and that if we didn’t look out, they would make us live in a world of cages, too. So we started noticing. Everything looked like cages. You put fences around your yards so they looked like cages. Everything was a cage. You turned the land into cages. Then you made a government to protect these cages. And that government was all cages. All laws about what you couldn’t do. the only freedom you had was inside your own cage. then you wondered why you weren’t happy and didn’t feel free. We Indians never thought that way. Everyone was free. We didn’t make cages of laws and land. We believed in honor. To us the white man looked like a blind man walking. He knew he was on the wrong path when he bumped into the edge of one of the cages. Our guide was inside, not outside. It was honor. It was more important for us to know what was right than to know what was wrong. We looked at the animals and saw what was right…..We saw how every animal had wisdom and we tried to learn that wisdom. We did not look for what was wrong. Instead we always reached for what was right. It was that search that kept us on a good path, not rules and fences. We wanted honor for ourselves and our families. We wanted others to say ‘He is a good man. He is as brave as the bear and clean as the fox’. We had freedom so we did not seek it. We sought honor, and honor was duty. The man who sought freedom was just running from duty, so he was weak. The only time freedom is important is when others are trying to put you in chains. We had no chains so we needed no freedom. Does this make any sense to you? The world your people brought saw everything in term of freedom. We have always had our freedom so you had nothing of value to give us. All you could do is take it away and give it back to us in the form of cages. That is what you did when you took our land and tried to give it back to us in allotments. You took all our Indian land and gave it back to us and said ‘You now have the freedom to be farmers and ranchers’. We didn’t want to be farmers and ranchers. We had been farmers when we had to. But we didn’t want to be told to be farmers. When we didn’t farm you got angry and couldn’t understand. ‘We have given you the freedom to have your own land and be farmers and you aren’t doing anything’. To us all you had done is given us our own cage. All you were doing was taking away our honor. Yes, that is what you did to us. Either accept this cage or be killed is what you told us. You took our honor and gave us your freedom, even you know that is no freedom at all. It is just the freedom to live inside your own locked cage. Here is what I really think. White people are jealous of us. If it hadn’t been for your religion you would have lived just like us from the first minute you got to this land. You knew we were right…You came to this country because you really wanted to be like us. But when you got here you got scared and tried to build the same cages you had run away from. If you had listened to us instead of trying to convert us and kill us, what a country this would be!’

    Neither Wolf Nor Dog……….Kent Nerburn

  130. Bron,

    I wasn’t referring to you. I apologize if my reply made it seem that I was. I don’t think you’re the type of person who tries to stifle the arguments of people with whom you disagree.

  131. Native Mascots and Other Misguided Beliefs
    By Kevin Gover (Pawnee), director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian

    Further, these characters represent Indians of the past. Television, movies and books almost never portray Indians as contemporary characters. We are confined to the past, as though the government’s policies directed toward the deconstruction of Native nations had succeeded universally. The practice of using Native people as mascots largely emerged at the very time government policy was to deliberately destroy Native language, Native religion and Native identity. In this respect, the mascots served very directly the government’s purpose by portraying Indians as a proud and noble figure, but only a figure of the past. Government policy and the popular culture assumed that, certainly by the end of the twentieth century, there would be no more Indians.

    These policies find their roots in the misguided beliefs of the nineteenth century in racial hierarchy and the ranking of cultures from primitive to civilized. It hardly bears noting that the so-called “science” of race in the nineteenth century always concluded that white people, “Anglo-Saxon” or “Nordic” white people in particular, were the pinnacle of human development and their civilizations were the best ever achieved. This foolishness has long since been discredited as simple racism, as have the policy ideas that arose from it. The popular culture, however, has kept alive the “vanishing red man” stereotype that is at the foundation of the phenomenon of Native mascots.

    The celebrations of our extinction turned out, of course, to have been premature. However, certain ideas and themes in the popular culture remain persistent and influential. Native mascots are primary offenders in perpetuating these stereotypes. Consider why a franchise or university might choose a Native image to represent its team or teams. We are told that they are meant to honor Native American qualities such a bravery, strength (physical, not mental), endurance and pride. Certainly Native people had and have those qualities in varying degrees, though I do not believe that they had or have them in greater quantity than other peoples. And why is it that Native people are not chosen to represent positive human qualities such as intelligence, piety, generosity and love of family? I suppose the answer is that we are far less interesting to mascot makers when revealed to be ordinary human beings, with all the virtues and failures of other human beings.

    At the National Museum of the American Indian, we address a public that has been deeply influenced by the failings of formal education and the misinformation imbedded in the popular culture. The existence of Native American mascots is partly responsible for this misinformation. Mascots stereotype Native people employing imagery and ideas that arose from the racism of the nineteenth century. We relish the opportunity to challenge these stereotypes with the authority of the Smithsonian Institution. We are very grateful for the one and a half million visitors who choose to come to our museum each year, an expression of their willingness to learn and move beyond the stereotypes that they have been taught. And we are grateful to the Congress, the Native nations and the Indian and non-Indian people who support the museum for creating the opportunity to learn and teach at the National Museum of the American Indian.

  132. Education Group Fights To Rid Wisconsin Schools Of Native American Stereotypes

    By Travis Waldron on February 12, 2014

    Months after Gov. Scott Walker signed legislation making it harder for schools to drop Native American mascots, the Wisconsin Indian Education Association asks 31 schools to change their names.

    ……..and 42 other articles concerning the issue, all here:

  133. Bruce,

    “Mr. Gover is well healed. It is of interest that he is seeking casino support to help finance the Museum. His success does not reflect the vast majority of Native Indians and reservation life itself. He’s a good man, but as white as me when it comes to opinion.”


    He’s well-healed? Good for him! Is there a problem with his seeking funding for the museum from tribes that have made money from casinos? Why do you say he’s as white as you when it comes to opinion? What do you mean by that? Do you think his opinion about mascots is ” a white one?”

  134. Elaine: He is well healed is simply a polite way of saying he is very distant from the problems that exist. You read too much into it. The fact that he seeks money from successful Indian casinos is a horse of many spots (humor). The question is as to why he has not become involved in the question of how casino money has been utilized for more living natives rather than his museum interests? There are critical perspectives upon museums too, it is not all about preserving knowledge and often edges upon exploitation itself. But is this really the issue? I have to wonder if, by your own intonation, you think that a “white opinion” is automatically wrong? the fact that Mr. Gover lives and breathes the institutional compromise is a white perspective, not a Native one.
    It is as simple as that.

  135. Bruce,

    Well-heeled means having a lot of money/being prosperous. I didn’t read too much into your statement. I went be the definition I know for the word.

    You perceived some sort of “intonation.” I didn’t know what you meant when you said that he was “as white as me when it comes to opinion.” That statement leaves itself open to a lot of interpretations. That’s why I asked if you could explain what you meant by that. What is the institutional compromise that you speak of?

  136. The National Museum of the Native American is severely under-endowed and probably would not even exist if it had not been built around the donation of an extensive private collection of native American Artifacts. If Mr. Grover’s very necessary fund raising activities seem unseemly, you can help rectify the situation by becoming a member for an annual fee of only $25.

  137. Pat,

    I have ancestors who were living in Texas before it was part of the Union — one served at the Battle of San Jacinto and another in Sam Houston’s Army of the Republic. Does that make me a native American?

    Nope. Why?

    Because I don’t have the mind of the new World indigenous so aptly described in your post at 12:45 p.m. today.

    Well played.

  138. Oro Lee,

    Thanks for going the extra mile. My husband is part American Indian. We have a small collection of modern American Indian art–including pottery, carvings, sand paintings, and a few pieces of silver jewelry that I got when we went to New Mexico several years ago.

  139. I am an official Native American member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, meaning I have my Bureau of Indian Affairs “Degree of Indian Blood” card from the federal government showing that I have “proved” my lineage. I also note that on Senator Maria Cantwell’s website she that she is a member of the Indian Affairs Committee. My point is the hypocrisy of this non event. We are NATIVE AMERICANS. Indians are from India. So before all the outrage at a football team, all that are offended should target the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs and demand a name change. I also believe this is a made up controversy – all of the Native Americans I know are worried about much more than the name of a football team.

  140. I agree, Cindy, that there are many greater problems facing indigenous people than the name of the professional football team in our nation’s capitol, but for the most part they all have the same origin — the mindset of the dominant society. It makes no sense to fight to correct its bad acts and ignore its bad attitude.

    This past summer, the Supreme Court of the United States — the highest Court of the Conquerors — sanctioned state sponsored human trafficking of native American children. This is the first sentence of the majority’s opinion: “This case is about a little girl (Baby Girl) who is classified as an Indian because she is 1.2% (3/256) Cherokee.”

    It was a gratuitous slap in the face of the Cherokee Nation — the sentence had absolutely nothing to do with the opinion’s holding or underlying arguments, and it gLosses over the most important fact of the case: the child is 100% a citizen of the Cherokee Nation.

    It also ignores the genocidal role of blood quantum requirements initially imposed on indian nations by the federal government: to ease the administration of federal programs; to limit the expenditure of money and resources of those programs; and to eliminate less populous tribes as the biological necessity of genetic diversity decreases the individuals’ quantum of “Indian” blood.

  141. Oro, Dale Hansen is a midwesterner that resides in Texas like I once was. Maybe he did not drink the Texas kool aid like many who move there do.

  142. “Chris Kluwe: Calling Michael Sam A ‘Distraction’ Is Like Saying Richard Sherman Is A ‘Thug’ “Huffington Post. I guess you could have posted it on the Richard Sherman thread, Oro. We could have been attacked for being pc again.:)

  143. Oro Lee,

    The last we heard from lottakatz was over at Flowers for Socrates. I think she was quite ill or had some some kind of injury. I miss reading her comments.

  144. I got an email from LK a few weeks ago. She was complaining about her computer. She may be without a computer in addition to any other problems.

  145. lottakatz,

    I seen your name mentioned here, thought of you & the video below.

    I know many of us are observing the sickness in many people’s minds that render then blind to the consequences of their action & of their harm to other people of the planet.

    I hope we are all ok & start put a check on their lunacy.

  146. Are you PCers talking about gay Indians, Native American, indigenous people or gay black, colored, Negro, Afro-American, African American, people of color?

  147. “Are you PCers talking about gay Indians, Native American, indigenous people or gay black, colored, Negro, Afro-American, African American, people of color”
    We were talking about human beings.

  148. If the Indian Mascot Could Speak: A Poem

    A group of Native American college students are taking on the Native American mascot controversy through poetry.
    By Amy Stretten – 01/15/2014

    Savage Media, created by a group of Native American students at Dartmouth College, published a video this week to call for an end to Native American mascots. Through the delivery of a poem, Preston Wells, of the Choctaw Nation and a junior at Dartmouth College, imagines what the Indian mascot–a fictitious, yet familiar caricature–would say if he could speak.

    Supporters of Indian mascots “tell us to feel honored,” Wells said over the phone. “It’s not like they’re doing this knowing that it’s offensive. It’s a Native American trope and it’s not just with sports mascots. It’s a stereotype that bleeds into other areas. It’s just so ridiculously offensive, that it’s almost comedic. You almost have to laugh so it doesn’t affect you.”

    Here’s an excerpt from the poem:

    Usually people call me ‘Chief’ because you make me dance in front of thousands.

    Stack a headdress on me like bricks.

    Suffocate me in buckskin like sweat–cold and heavy.

    I have been worn for too long.

    You’ll take off that shirt at day’s end, but when will it be my turn?

    It’s hard to breathe on cotton. Just another form of relocation.

    Throw me in with your dirty clothes, do your laundry.

    Wash me good enough to wipe my bravery weak.

    I am hurting…

    Wells produced the piece to highlight how “fake” Indian mascots are and to differentiate who real–living, breathing Native peoples–are from the Hollywood construct.

    “When I tell someone I’m Native, the only image they ever know of is the Indian mascot,” Wells said. “Sometimes it leads them to asking me really stereotypical questions. If we get rid of [the Indian mascot], then we can have more sovereignty over our images.”

  149. Scott Walker signs Indian mascot bill, informs tribes of reasoning in letter
    JESSICA VANEGEREN | The Capital Times |

    Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker signed the controversial Indian mascot bill into law Thursday, but not before informing state tribal leaders in a letter earlier in the day of his impending action.

    In the letter, Walker stated “I share many of your concerns about some of the mascots and nicknames used in Wisconsin and across America. If it were up to me personally, I would seek viable alternatives that were not offensive to Native Americans.”

    But the governor detailed his concerns that the previous law, whose provisions are largely rolled back by the new law, infringed on free speech rights.

    “If the state bans speech that is offensive to some, where does it stop?” Walker stated. “A person or persons’ right to speak does not end just because what they say or how they say it is offensive.”

    Barbara Munson, a spokeswoman with the Wisconsin Indian Education Association “Indian” Logo and Mascot task force, called his decision to sign the bill into law “egregious.”

    “This is a poke in the eye with a sharp stick to all of the tribes and all of our children,” Munson said Thursday afternoon.

    She added, “Attorneys are discussing this as we speak.”

    On Wednesday, Chris Ahmuty, the executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin, called Walker’s use of the First Amendment to protect the use of race-based mascots “bogus.”

    Like Ahmuty, Munson again pointed out that the First Amendment does not allow government programs or government bodies to offend or discriminate through their policies and school districts count as government bodies.

    “Why are they teaching our children to participate in and tolerate race-based stereotyping?” Munson asked. “Learning environments should not put up barriers that harm an entire race of people. The bill goes way beyond repeal of Act 250. It is an example of institutionalized racism.”

  150. Darren, Just my point! Then why do PCers feel compelled to constantly change the “proper name” for them. In my lifetime the “proper” name for black people has changed times! Malcolm X got it right w/ “black.” And, if you listen to his eloquent reason why, almost all people will agree.

  151. annie,

    I thought the point that some people were trying to make is that it should be PA (politically acceptable) to refer to certain human beings as “redskins.”

  152. It HAS to be Constitutionally acceptable to call them “Redskins.” For @ least the 257th time. Maybe this time is the charm?

  153. If someone else got offended or If someone else wanted something changed it would have been done in a blink of an eye (just saying)………. I am Cherokee and proud!

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